JULY 17, 2021
Mercedes has a plan for George Russell
Toto Wolff has hinted that Formula 1 will emerge from its August slumber to news about the identity of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes teammate for 2022.
But he denied that Valtteri Bottas and George Russell already know what that news will be once it should be official by Spa-Francorchamps.
"The drivers don't know anything yet," said the reigning champion team's boss.
Wolff's counterpart at Haas, however, backs the widespread paddock perception that 31-year-old Bottas is on the way out and will be replaced by impressive young Williams charger Russell.
"He (Russell) is on the market - the Mercedes market," Gunther Steiner told RTL.
"I think Mercedes knows exactly what they want to do with him."
Russell gave his chances yet another boost by powering his normally back-of-the-grid Williams to a sensational eighth quickest in Friday qualifying.
"Hats off to what George is doing in that car at the moment," said Steiner.
"I hope our drivers are as good as George in their second and third years. He (Russell) will have a big say in Formula 1 in the future.
"He's young, fast, doing everything right and a nice guy as well. An exceptional talent.
"Everyone is waiting to see what he can do in a competitive car. And if he gets one consistently, we're looking at a world champion. I think he has the skills for that."
Wolff also agrees that he has a unique talent on his hands.
"It's a feast for the eyes to watch George," said the Mercedes boss. "He's a little lion in that car."